I watched the movie “Becoming Santa” today and was blown away by how many of the people in it I know. It’s a small world in the professional Santa pile. I’m honored to be in this company.
Here’s the video, I hope you enjoy it and share it with others on this Christmas weekend. I’ve got some comments below the fold, so watch the video and then click on the link to read the rest.
It was fun watching him go through the change. I feel as though I was watching myself in some ways. You change inside as Santa as well, and it was obvious by the end that he was no longer the man he started out as when he got the idea.
I almost cried when the Santa was talking about the intense lonliness he felt on Christmas Eve when it was done for the year. I have not experienced that myself, but know others that have. It is an intense thing to be Santa. You are a rock star and the focus of love and adoration in ways that people could never understand until they have worn The Red Suit.
The instructor at the Santa school had it exactly right: you take that intense energy from the children and use it to power the love you give back. When the scene came up where he was “President Santa” and shook all those little hands, I think he fully got it for the first time. You do have an awesome responsibility as Santa. It is an honor and a calling.
I have changed my role as Santa over the years. I no longer speak loudly unless it’s a crowd situation. I am very quiet and gentle with the little ones. After all, Santa is a huge dude in a funny outfit with a big beard. You see him everywhere – he’s the Beatles with a weight problem. And there he is in your day care center. Of course you’d freak out.
There is sadness as Santa as well. Sometimes you do hear heart-rending things from the children that you cannot act on directly. I’m honest with them and tell them that I’ll pray for them. And I do. I stop right that minute and pray. And I pray any time I think about that request. Some are wonderful gifts to my soul. I think Jesus uses Santa’s experiences to light little fires that burn brighter over the years.
Am I a better Santa than 10 years ago? Undoubtedly. I don’t tease any more. It’s funny for adults, but the children take it too seriously. I will never forgive myself for one little boy crying so hard a few years back. It was mild chiding, but he was wounded by it and I will never again do it to a child. I wasn’t cruel, but you never know the threshold the individual has for pain. So, why inflict it as Santa? No need.
Do I love what I do? Beyond reason. It is the best thing I’ve ever done. I have learned so much about love and compassion doing it these last 10 years. I enjoy being Santa year round. As my beard gets more gray, I am forced to live that life of Santa every day. The “look” follows me even in July. The little ones are always wondering, “Is that him?” That’s fine with me. Could you find a better person to be? Kind, generous, clever, skilled, gentle, and saintly. I try to live up to it and it’s making me a better man every day I strive to be like him.
So, going into the last 36 hours of the season I’m blessed to be Santa. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and celebrate this day with your loved ones.